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thanks so much for watching this afternoon. chris matthews and "hardball" is next. the fog thickens over foggy bottom. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me open tonight with this. something may have gone wrong at the state department. there are now disturbing allegations of serious abuses and perhaps interference in several investigations during the period hillary clinton headed that department. documents obtained by nbc news that relates to an ongoing investigation involving the state department contain disturbing allegations. an october memo cites
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allegations of abuse in eight cases labeled open at the time, including engaging prostitutes, pedophilia, sexual assault, unexplained shootings, unauthorized leaking of information and a possible underground drug ring. among the allegations that members of hillary clinton's own security desurveil allegedly engaged prostitute while on official trips in foreign countries on the sect's detail. two of the countries were columbia and russia." perhaps more trouming another document says several examples of undue influence from within bureau of diplomatic security and from the top floor of the department raising concerns about the integrity of some intirnl investigations. a senior state department official says no investigations were interfered with to counter the charge. this is a firestorm of a story obviously. and gerrans diplomatic correspondent, kasie hunten political producer. very few people know about this story. i saw it in the new york post this morning.
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it's getting wide discretion. it was on cbs last night. let's get the facts. what do we know starting from the beginning. ann? >> there was a memo written last year recounting by the department of office of investigation at the state department recounting eight instances in which some fairly certificates wrongdoing was alleged to have taken place by state department contractors, employees and in one case an ambassador. there are twofold allegations here. one is that this miss you conduct occurred and were under investigation and two those investigations were not allowed to run their course. that earring the undue influence from above that was alleged that you referred to occurred or that the investigations were watered down. and several investigators rode wrote up these eight instances and passed it on in a draft report which was never made public but which has now been
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leaked. there was an official version of the report and these instances are not in it. >> they were all taken out. >> right. >> how many sources do we have for the ig report which detailed information about or investigations involving prostitutes, pedophilia, sexual assault, possible underground drug ring apparently if baghdad. do we have any evidence? you've seen the document. >> yes, the original, yeah. >> and that document was a memo from who to who? can you say? >> from a group of investigators within the ig's office. and they were reporting on investigations primarily undertaken by the diplomatic security bureau which is the state department's law enforcement and presentingtive branch. these are all things that ds would have had responsibility for investigating or looking at originally. and in one days the allegations concerned ds agents themselves, that there, as the report put,
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there was endemic hiring of prostitutes overseas. >> we know for sure there was in fact documentary evidence, there is in fact document tritt of these abuses being charged? >> there were allegations that were serious enough to begin an investigation. as the state department keeps pointing out, all of these are unsubstantiated allegations and the state department will not say. >> what does that mean? >> it could mean a lot of things. they won't tell us which ones have been closed and which ones had enough investigation to have been referred for criminal prosecution if any. >> so the charge here is from a memo inside the department of state that the ig's report which came out and written up had all this stuff decleted. >> right, heavily redacted. >> kasie hunt for nbc news. fill in what you heard, fill in around and give us your sense of the hard news here. >> absolutely. for the folks up here on the hill who are starting to look at this really closely and kind of
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comb over what ann was just talking about and looking at these different allegations, the main issue is potentially what was covered up. what was changed. and especially as they looked to try and tie this to secretary of state hillary clinton. they're looking carefully at suggestions that top floor management at the state department knew about some of what was going on and actually played a role in watering it down. and the first reaction here on capitol hill was to say look, the state department hasn't had an official inspector general in years for all of hillary clinton's tenure and they suggest that these state department investigators who prepared this report were intimidated by political appointees. >> and that's -- so in other words, people have told nbc or have told anybody in the news business that they were intimidated from telling the full story here about these abuses in the department? >> i talked to staffers on capitol hill who are familiar with the investigation who say
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that they've had state department employees or rather people who are familiar with what's gun on at the state department come to them and discuss the allegations generally and also the investigation itself and how it was conducted. people are being very careful if these early stages but they are telling us at this point that they know who the person who who is talking most aggressively about this. and that they're going to make sure to follow up with that person at great length. >> well, let's get the characteristics straight. you mentioned that there's some people trying to connect this to the former secretary of state. can you say who they are trying to make that connection. >> an at this point, there are very few people willing to go on the record or say publicly that they want to make that connection. all i can say at this point is that it's a connection that's being made behind the scenes up here. i will say there are already
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political people who are out there publicly essentially saying that you know, secretary of state, form are secretary of state hillary clinton won't come out and publicly discuss this. you're already seeing some republican operatives people who used to work for romney's presidential campaign coming out and suggesting they are tied together. >> let's go back to ann guerin on this case. regarding the former secretary of state who's generally been seen as clean as a whistle in every regard in public life. her own security card, the charge the security gathered hiring prostitutes and also over in russia. what's that? how sound is that that charge right now? >> well, the allegation in the original report is that it was more than one agent and that it happened in at least those two places. the action in columbia would have predated the secret service scandal with agents hiring
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prostitutes there last year. but it sounds like a very similar allegation that agents who were traveling for work either before the secretary got there or while she was visiting were hiring prostitutes in their hotel. the original allegation on that is like the others basically an outline of a charge. there's very little that can be independently verified in among those allegations. >> kasie what, do we have in your end, the security detail covering the former secretary of state traveling through cart hane na and traveling to russia on different trips? this has a certain parallelism to the charges involving. the question is what role does the secretary or the president play in watching the day to day or night to night activities of their own security details? it would seem to me something
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that wouldn't come up in. regular conversation. my thoughts -- you're laughing. it's not something they would be telling her about or reporting to her about only in a general sense would she be responsible for it. >> right. well, i covered mitt rom if i's campaign right after that secret service scandal. the changes that were made immediately in the wake of that were very obvious. there were many, many new rules about socializing that the secret service detail that was attached to mitt romney was beak forced to follow after that scandal broke. so no. it's not something necessarily that the principals are aware of. they know somebody is standing outside of their door most of the day. but beyond that, there's no real reason why they should know. as far as what nbc news knows, we've seen the draft report that ann mentioned earlier and we're sort of very carefully trying to ferret out who it is that's talking. >> are we going to read in the paper tomorrow about anyone else in hillary's world, her counsel or anyone else over there at
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state department being involved in any interference here in these investigations? >> probably not. the main development from the senior state department today was an on the record denial from patrick kennedy both hillary clinton's undersecretary for management, the guy who basically runs the floor and now john kerry's undersecretary for management that there was any interference, any improper diversion of these cases basically anything at all. and that is also what the state department spokeswoman jen ken saki maintained from the podium today. >> this is going to be a big story in the papers tomorrow. thank you so much for coming on. ann guerin of the washington post, kasie hunt. coming up, the senate vote to begin debate for cloture to kill the stalling tactics on immigration reform. a bipartisan gang of eight bill coming lieu here. that was the hard part coming
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up. what are the chances of a law that addresses board security and what to do with the millions of undocument the workers already here in tim pawlenty will tell us what it looks like from his perspective. also, one of the journalists who broke the story about the classified nsa program says there's nor significant revelations coming down the road. how did a somewhat low level contractor in the nsa stationed in hawaii get access to so much information about our agents around the world and did he act alone in the case? >> 50 years ago, the president of the united states john kennedy gave a great civil rights speech that will go down this history as one of the most consequential speeches given about civil rights. and we'll get an update from richard engel in istanbul about the dramatic clashes. amazing scenes in the streets over there and about the rioting going on and police and anti-government protesters going at each other.
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here's some news. bill daley announced today he's run agexploratory committee to run for governor in illinois. on a video on his website, the former white house chief of staff used a common saying about the obama administration, we can't wait. daley would be running against pat quinn in the democratic primary. back in november, a ppp poll showed quinn with an approval rating of just 25%, the least popular governor in the country. the same poll showed a match between daley and quinn would put daley on top by three points. not much of a jump but good enough for him to get in the race. daley is a great guy. we'll be right back. ♪ ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] for dad's first job as dad.
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welcome back to "hardball." let them in, let them stay or kick them out and keep them out. the battle lines being drawn around the immigration overall
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bill, border security and amnesty. the senate's gang of eight passed its first major procedural hurdle today with flying colors. catch this number 82-15 voted in favor of moving for cloture. president obama says he wants a bill on his desk by this summer. let's look at the nay votes. these are the people, republicans all, are the senators that didn't want to consider the bill, didn't want to consider immigration reform. barrasso. boos man, arkansas, same deal. crapo if idaho, cruz from texas, enzi from wyoming, grassley, inhofe, kirk from illinois, surprise there, mike lee from utah. reesh from idaho, roberts from kansas, scott from south carolina. sessions from alabama, shelby from alabama, vitter from louisiana and the bill they refused to discuss would aim to boost protections along the southern border via $4.5 billion
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of new funding and 3300 new customs agents and establishes a road map for an 11 millionen illegal immigrants to gainful citizenship a process which would take 13 years and require payment of $2,000 in fines. democrats are confident they'll obtain passage in the senate. republicans have made it clear it won't be without a fight. getting a bill is going to be easy ez compared to what's looming in the republican controlled house where the bill faces a much more uncertain fate. if a bill gets to the president's desk, what's it likely to look at? will it be something we'll be proud to enforce? tim pawlenty is a former governor of minnesota and currently the ceo of the financial services roundtable. sam stein with the "huffington post." thank you, gentleman. my question is as we go into this, we've gottenen past cloture today. the senate is going to deal with this issue, probably pass it.
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are we headed towards a bill that's going to enforce immigration like any other country in the world including mexico or are we going having to laws we're proud to enforce. >> i'm mildly optimistic. there's momentum to get something done in the senate and the actions will shift to the house. that's more challenging for all the reasons you suspect. you've seen this of about, if this is a situation where one side or the other demands a whole loaf, nothing will get done. if they're willing to take two-thirds of a loaf or 3/4 of a loaf, then it will get done. i hope that's the spirit. >> here's president obama. he held his only second official event on this issue today. compare that to as many as 80 held on gun control for example. he was flachked by key allies which include the presidents of the alf and cio. he took direct aim at ted cruz of texas who said he doesn't want to support any pathing to citizenship and rubio is pushing
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for more effective border protection. i think rubio definitely wants a bill. i'm not sure about cornyn. take a listen to the president on both issues. >> i know there's a lot of talk right now about border security. let me repeat, today illegal crossings are near their lowest level in decades. if passed, the senate bill as currently written and is hitting the floor would put in place the toughest border enforcement plan that america has ever seen. so nobody's taking board offer enforcement lightly. that's part of this bill. >> so this won't be a quick process. it will take at least 13 years before the vast majority of these individuals are able to even apply for citizenship. this is no cakewalk. but it's the only way we can make sure that everyone who is here is playing by the same rules as ordinary families, paying taxes and getting their
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own health insurance. >> sam, where are you on reporting this in do you think we'll have a real bill we'll be proud of or another simpson ma zolly joke that doesn't do what says it's going to do? what's your sense of this, a real bill away proud to enforce, that's my phrase. >> it comes down to what the house does i think at this juncture. it looks pretty promising in the senate although i would caution people when gun control passed the first cloture vote, everyone was exuberant but it failed on the second cloture vote. >> you smell that? do you think some people voted for it so they weren't being seen as enemies of the bill itself? >> i'm sure some did. it's hard to imagine at this juncture that it won't clear 60. it comes down to what happens in the house. john boehner could take two paths. he could bend to this pressure to bring up the senate bill, something comprehensive, violate what's known as the hastert rule which says the majority of the majority has to be on board or do a piecemeal approach and hope
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the house and senate confer eees can hammer something out. we have so much more to go in this saga. >> so many stakeholders. obviously the latino community and the people worried about the votes, both democrats and republicans. democrats wants to keach the votes, republicans want a bigger share of the vote of. business wants cheap labor. the cheapest labor is the guy who just got across the border and is working his butt off. i keep looking around for who doesn't want illegal immigration? so we don't have nbc cameras the night after this bill passed with people racing through the flood lights again? what's going to stop the racing in the middle of the night so we can say our board ser secure, people come through a process of either guest workers or regular applicants for admission? >> are we going to get to there. >> if you think of this as a stew instead of a roast, let's look at the elements. number one, border security. seems like there's general
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consensus around that. number two, enough latitude to accommodate both high skilled workers h1b visa issue is so important but enough in the areas where there are shortages for low skilled workers, as well. a pathway for legal status for those who don't get tote get in the front of line and meet other requirements. making sure we have other protections in the bill and there's another elements for compromise. if any side says it's got to be all my way. >> what about verify? sam, are you a believer that we can have a system given all the electronics this incredible electronics we keep reading about, the nsa has it, this ability to know everything somebody does something wrong, they've got pictures of them going to walmart? apparently we're under surveillance. it seems hard to believe we can't tell if a person's the man or woman she claims to be or not. >> that's the big sticking point right now. e verify is one thing.
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this biometric fingerprinting system is another thing. the question is, is it too costly? will it take too long to implement 100% across the board? i think there's a general con sense they want to move to a system in which we use our electric advantages to help make sure that people aren't hiring undocumented workers, et cetera. the question is, is it so burdensome an that you end up putting the pathway part so far down the road that it makes it pointless for pro immigration reform supporters to sign onto the bill. >> let's be fair here. you and i, sam, and the governor here have to show a passport to visit other countries besides the united states. we have to have a form. we have to be legal. why don't people coming here have to have a passport? why does it seem so onerous? any american says it's not onerous to have a passport. it's the law. why isn't it true to come the other way. >> the aspect is on the people already here not the people who
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in the future may come here. the question is, how will we define a secure border. i'm not sure people realize what we would have 0 devote to have 100% secure boarder. >> how about making it 100% you can't work in the united states without a work permit which you need to have. if you were to go to belgium tomorrow or zaz i land, you would need a work permit. what's wrong with asking for a work permit? >> nothing. this is what mitt romney's platform was was we need a very robust e verify program. i'm 100% positive that polls well. it's not whether you can say we need to do that. you have to have a stew of these things. otherwise the stakeholders won't buy into the end product. >> governor, i live in the back wash of simpson ma zolly. you live in all and nothing worked. it was all bs. >> that's right. fool me once, shame on you.
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fool me twice, shame on me. on e verify, it's not perfect but the system we have now, this paper system is a joke. if you come to me and i'm a hardware store season owner and you give me a piece of paper, what am i supposed to do, go down and conduct an international investigation to verify the document? of course, not. >> i want to make it possible for people to honestly little hire people and they do it honestly. thank you, sam, and thank you governor pawlenty. up next nbc's chief foreign correspondent, richard engel with the latest on the situation in turkey. i don't know if you've been watching these pictures. they are something else. calling for the resignation of turkey's prime minister. good luck with that. this is "hardball" the place for politics. you say men are superior drivers?
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♪ ♪ in dealerships everywhere. in theaters, june 14th. in dealerships everywhere. but i see a world bursting with opportunity,ople nervous. with ideas, with ambition. i'm thinking about china, brazil, india. the world's a big place. i want to be a part of it. ishares international etfs. emerging markets and single countries. find out why nine out of ten large professional investors choose ishares for their etfs. ishares by blackrock. call 1-800-ishares for a prospectus, which includes investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. read and consider it carefully before investing. risk includes possible loss of principal. there's a dramatic confrontation today on the streets of istanbul, turkey. riot police fired tear gas and used water can fons to drive
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back protesters. these have been growing for the past two weeks with protesters demanding the res igfation of prime minister erdogan. turkey is an important u.s. ally bordering iran, iraq and syria. what happens there will have serious repercussions around the world. the question today is where is this heading. richard engle is in istanbul. these are amazing pictures to watch live. tell us how you see it. most people don't even have a grasp what this is about. >> well, i this i this is also come has a great surprise to the prime minister of this country who didn't see this coming, who has been dismissive of this, who seemed to think this morning that he could send in the riot police and it would all be over. now, beyond midnight well 14 hours into this, it is certainly not over. there is still a lot of tear gas here. there are still those water cannons in the square just below me. i'm not sure if i'm going to be
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able to get through this whole report with you without putting a tear gas mask on. so how did it begin? a small demonstration here that started about two weeks ago. riot police moved on that demonstration, as well. and some images of attractive young people, the kind of people who didn't look threatening at all getting pepper sprayed into their faces were suddenly posted all over the social media. people got angry. protests grew to the point that this morning at around 7:00, the prime minister ordered the heavies to come in. the riot police came in very strong today. and there have been running battles ever since. it peaked a few hours ago. 10,000, maybe 15,000 people in the square and what seemed to be an unprovoked action, the riot police rolled in. they came in caused something of a stampede. quite a few people were injured
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as they were falling on top of each other. and now as dark has overtaken the city, it is just maybe a couple thousand people just on the outskirts of the square. and there are still these clashes. >> this is an elected government. this isn't like mubarak. this is a real democratic election. this guy's been reelected three times now. what is it they don't like about him, the people in the streets? >> reporter: and he does, prime minister erdogan have a big constituency. many people are watching turkish television tonight seeing what is going on here and saying good, these people are getting what they don't. they are causing problems for the government. they are hurting the economy. and that the prime minister is acting as he should by being strong and driving the people out. the protesters here, however, think that the prime minister erdogan has become such a strong leader that he is now becoming
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an authoritarian leader and also say he is imposing a hidden islamic agenda, that is a nostalgic leader who wants to look back to the ottoman empire and re-establish his dominance something like a sultan over syria, over the recently changed regimes in tunisia, in libya. and there is a big, big split in this country with people who want a secular democracy and others who like what has been so far quite successfully i might add economically kesful for the last decade erdogan's islamic democracy. >> our great foreign correspondent for nbc news. up next, the latest on the former nsa contractor, the young guy who broke the story about the government's online surveillance. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics.
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i'm courtney reagan with your market wrap. the dow fell 116 points today. the s&p sank 16 and the nasdaq was down 36 points. google announced it will buy waze a mobile mapping service for $1.3 billion. sony playstation 4g undercutting microsoft xbox one on price. sony tagged its latest console at $399, $100 less than xbox 1. and lululemon shares plunged more than 17% after ceo christine day announce she's resigning. for now, back to "hardball." >> welcome back to "hardball"".
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two days after outing himself as the man who revealed details about secret nsa. of edward snowden working at a satellite nsa office in hawaii somehow got his hands on highly classified documents that had nothing to do with what he was actually working on as part of his job. how did that happen? did he act alone? and what else did he have access to. he seems to have vanished from public view. last known to be in hong kong but reportedly checked out monday and does not know whether he fled the city. one of the reporters who was leaked the information from snowden said there was more coming. the guardian's glenn green wald told the associated press "we are going to have a lot more significant revelations that have not yet been heard. in other words this story isn't over. dana priest is the investigative reporter from "the washington post" and jonathan wise man is the congressional correspondent
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for the "new york times." dana, thank you so much. i guess what's con founded a lot of us is sort of the implications of the story more than the revelation. the implication being how does a young contract employee over in hawaii get to leak something to somebody down in rio that ends up in the london newspapers and comes bouncing back to us and the entire world when in fact, it also claims i could have outed every cia agent station chief in the world? how does a guy have that kind of power? >> if he's really what he says he is, it was a big mistake he would have access 0 such sensitive information. there's a principle in the intelligence world which is need to know. so even if you have a top secret clearance, it doesn't mean that you get to see everything the government has that's marked top secret. it means that you should only be able to be have what you're working on as a systems administrator, he might have had access to the system in his
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office and to a broad array of e-mails and documents. but he really should not have been able to access them. i mean, his job as he describes it as we know so far was to make sure the information technology computer systems were working correctly. just like in the bradley manning case. he should not have had access to all the state department cables. he was an analyst on a given topic but had he access to things way off ta topic. and i think what we're seeing is the government still struggling to figure out how to get that right, how to share information with those that need to know and how to not share it and not let it out with people who have no need to know. >> dana, here he is in that interview with the guardian where snowden raised some eyebrows about making that claim. let's watch. >> anybody in the positions of access with the technical capabilities that i had could, you know, suck out secrets and pass them on the open market to
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russia. they always have an open door as we do. i had access to you know, the full rosters of everyone working at the nsa, the entire intelligence community. and undercover assets all around the world, the locations of every station we have, what their missions are and so forth. if i had just wanted to harm the u.s., you know, you could shut down the surveillance system in an afternoon. but that's not my intention. >> some officials pushed back on the claim he made there about his access to kind of information. one senior cia official told "the washington post" "when he said he had access 0 every cia station around the world, he's lying." another question with jonathan. maybe it comes with being a computer sort of, i don't know, internet web sort of person who lives basically their life at a desktop and doesn't have a lot of social contact or allies in life on this planet. but david brooks raised the question today, this kind of a
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character, this fellow here, his loyalty to the organization to the country at least institutionally was zero. why wasn't he picked up when they recruited him that he wasn't the kind you have guy to give an oath to? he wasn't going to keep it. >> dana raised the pertinent question about manning. these are two young men who understood computers and their skills were very much in demand in this world. these i.t. guys are really needed especially as intelligence moves from spooks on the ground to electronics in the air. their skills are needed. they're not widely available. >> let's take a look at what boehner, the speaker was very strong on this. i think this is a more complicated case for me to handle, especially in moral terms. let's watch the speaker. >> he's a traitor. the president outlined last week that these are important national security programs to help keep americans safe. and give us tools to fight the terrorist threat that we face.
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>> dana, the word traitor certainly is going to rouse reactions to me. a lot of us i think are watching this. we've got a new poll out that shows most americans understand the need for this kind of surveillance, the metadata collected by the nsa and maybe even the e-mail going back and forth with foreigners. they sort of accept it by a majority vote, acceptable 56%. i think people are having a hard time with this one. the good guys bad guys doesn't seem to work here. >> you know, the government just like they did in bradley manning came out right away saying this was awful. he's damaged national security. and yet today, we have the senate intelligence committee asking the government to declassify information about the same program so they can explain it to people more fully because they don't think that would damage national security. so what the real damage is we'll see. again, the fact that he had access, that's a huge problem. and one of the reasons they need
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those i.t. people is because the people in charge tend to be older and less fluent in the new technology. they have no clue what's out there that they themselves have put out there. >> i think that's fair, jonathan. how many grandparents have said to their kids to help them with their other kids, the grandkids. can you fix this thing for me? anyway, on house floor today. >> i have a 13-year-old. >> texas republican ted poe accused the administration of engaging in soviet style dragnet. he's going the other way. this guy's from the right going at the center. let's watch. >> in speaker, the american people have lost trust in this government. you think? the government spooks are drunk on power and it's time for congress to intervene to prevent the invasion of privacy by government against the citizens. >> you know, i don't think congressman poe i've never heard of would have said the same thing if w had done this.
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the hardest thing is to find consistency. i would say people like can lindsey graham have been consistent. they believe in it now because they are concerned with national security primarily. but the far left, the left and the right seem to be in cahoots on having a question about this thing. >> you're not going to be surprised that politics would play here. the packet is we're talking about two different programs. one is not a dragnet. that's the program called bris many where they are targeted foreigners and they can go after a different.sourts of digital paths they take. store them, analyze them and when they get tips or thing they want to look at, they can go in and mine that data. that is a broad program that is getting all of the records. it is more of a dragnet approach. the other is not. >> i know what dragnet means from jack webb.
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you stuck that word a digital exhaust. >> you like that? >> thank you so much. dana priest, pulitzer prize winner from "the washington post" and jonathan wise man from the washington times. up next, kennedy's civil rights speech led to monumental changes in this country after he was killed. this is "hardball," the place for politics. my mantra? always go the extra mile. to treat my low testosterone, i did my research. my doctor and i went with axiron, the only underarm low t treatment. axiron can restore t levels to normal
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dysfunctional place, there's no shortage of people who want to get in or in some cases back in. last year we saw nine former members of congress returning to the house of representatives. now marjorie margolies is hoping to win back a seat in pennsylvania. she lost her seat in 1994 after voting for the clinton budget cuts. bob barr, the man who helped lead the impeachment proceedings against clinton is running for a seat in the atlanta suburbs. there he is. we'll be right back. i'm a careful investor. when you do what i do, you think about risk. i don't like the ups and downs of the market, but i can't just sit on my cash. i want to be prepared for the long haul. ishares minimum volatility etfs.
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in civil rights history. president john f. kennedy took to national television to make a plea for fair treatment of blacks, calling civil rights a moral issue. at the time, racial tensions in the country were at an all-time high. just a month before birmingham safety commissioner bull conner unleashed police dogs and ordered fire hoses to be turned on peaceful african-american demonstrators. on the same daze kennedy's speech, dr. george wass ordered the doors of alabama university to be blocked so two black students could not enroll. here is john f. kennedy 50 years ago tonight. >> we are confronted primarily with a moral issue. it is as old as the scriptures and as clear as the american constitution. the heart of the question is whether all americans are to be afforded equal rights and equal opportunities. whether we are going to treat our fellow americans as we want to be treated. if an american because his skin is dark cannot eat lunch in a
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restaurant open to the public, if he cannot send his children to the best public school available, if he can not vote for the public officials who represent him, if, in short, he cannot enjoy the full and free life which all of us want, then who among us would be content to have the color of his skin changed and stand in his place? who among us would then be content with the counsels of patience and delay. >> joining us right now is doug brinkley, and william gray, former congressional leader. he is head of the united negro college fund. congressman, thank you so much for coming on. you know all about the civil rights movement. you're part of it. i do think the speech made it official at least from the government's point of view that civil rights was the moral cause for our country. >> it was like a nuclear bomb being dropped. a president of the united states of america on television saying to the american people that we have to have equal rights.
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no president before kennedy had ever done such a bold act. and it hit like an atomic bomb. people were talking about it for months. not just in the black community, but also in the white community as well. television was a vehicle that allowed kennedy to carry a message to everyone, a message that no president, none before. truman had not. eisenhower had not. even roosevelt had not called for equality of opportunity when black troops were fighting in the pacific and in europe. and even though truman integrated the armed services through executive order, he never called for total racial equality. so it was a tremendous statement by kennedy that it was the predicate to later civil rights legislation. >> well said. doug, i think as an historian, what is staggering here, i don't know, a political guy, that he
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was basically kissing goodbye to the south. the solid south that had gotten democratic presidents from roosevelt on elected. despite ideological differences, they let jim crowe get away with it down there. they let the south get away with what they were doing. kennedy came along in a year before a presidential election where it was not going to be a cakewalk for him, he said okay, i'm going to do this thing and i'll pay the price. >> in 1960, as you well know, he got 70% of the african-american vote, jfk over richard nixon. and there is some anger in the black community that he wasn't doing enough. now bobby kennedy did a lot with james meredith at old miss. and as attorney general. but this is john f. kennedy stepping out prime time, 8:00 p.m. and giving what i think is one of the great speeches ever. and of course that metger evers was watching and was murdered and had to crawl into his living room. it's profound. >> i know from studying this, when kennedy was shot down in
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texas, he was in texas for a reason. he needed texas, and he needed at least georgia. he was hanging on to two southern states at this point in his race for reelection. he know how bad things had gotten for him politically down there. >> he understood. but he really understood before that. there was another bombshell that kennedy dropped. and that was in 1960. he did something unthinkable. he picked up a telephone and he called coretta scott king, the wife of the civil rights leader martin luther king jr., expressed his concern about martin being in jail in birmingham. that hit the news media, and that angered a lot of people. now what it did, though, is it won him the election, because daddy king, the father of martin luther king, was ready to endorse nixon, and he withdrew that endorsement, endorsed kennedy. a group of black ministers put together a blue book called the blue bomb and it helped new york, pennsylvania, illinois, and michigan to be carried by
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the narrowest of margins by kennedy and win the election. >> thank you. harris wafford and louis martin the gentlemen that did that. thank you so much. we can't have you back. we'll have you back again and again, one of the greatest historians of our time, doug brinkley. thank you so much. we're hit on time here. we'll be right back. v8 v-fusion plus energy. natural energy from green tea plus fruits and veggies. need a little kick? ooh! could've had a v8. in the juice aisle.
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let me finish tonight with this. in may of 1963, the city of birmingham, alabama, was all over the news. but it was not the kind of news
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we wanted the world to see. not from our country, our land of the free unleashed police dogs and fire hoses were turned on peaceful civil rights demonstrators. people saw for the first time everywhere the hostility with which some americans were facing the claim of other americans to enjoy the same rights as they had. it was, as i said, a scene americans hated the world to see because it said that we were not necessarily the good guys in the cold war, not at all the land of the free that we said we were. told ourselves we were. at the university of alabama, two young students were applying for admission. james hood was one. the other was vivian malone, whose sister dr. sharon malone is today the wife of attorney general eric holder. governor george wallace was promising to bar the door to their entering the university. well, the kennedy brothers, president and attorney general were on the case. stand aside, the tall command of the alabama guard ordered the governor, which he did. the president then called up the tv networks personally and asked for time to address the nation. he called civil rights that
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night a moral issue as old as the scriptures and as clear as the american constitution. until the day he died, kennedy lobbied the congress for passage of the civil rights bill, opening the door of every restaurant, hotel, and gas station rest room to all americans. the cruel irony is that the bill passed largely because of the national grief over kennedy's death. and that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "politics nation" with al sharpton starts right now. >> thanks, chris. and thanks to you for tuning in. tonight's need, deselecting the jury. it's called jury selection. picking the six people who will decide the case against george zimmerman. but on day two, the focus is really on jury deselection. lawyers from both sides grilled potential jurors and sent dozens of them from the jury box. mr. zimmerman himself was back in court, as were the

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